The “absence” of Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in Hyderabad for the last 10 days as the Covid-19 situation gets grimmer in the state has triggered a political row.
While the Telangana Congress leaders wondered whether the chief minister had fallen sick, an independent political activist Ch Naveen Kumar alias Teen Mar Mallanna filed a writ petition in the state high court on Wednesday seeking a direction to the government to disclose the whereabouts of KCR.
Mallanna, who is also popular for anchoring a political show in a Telugu television channel, brought to the notice of the high court that the chief minister had not been seen in public for the last 10 days and there had been no official communication from the authorities concerned about his whereabouts and also his health conditions.
The last occasion where the chief minister had appeared in public was the birth centenary celebrations of former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao on June 28. In that event, there was a gathering of more than 100 people and the chief minister had participated in the programme without a mask, which made people worry about his health condition in the present Covid-19 pandemic, Mallanna said.
He reminded that even at the previous event of Haritha Haram (the tree plantation programme) on June 25 in which more than 100 people took part, KCR had participated without wearing a face mask.
“This has caused a lot of concern, as the number of Covid-19 cases has been increasing exponentially. Adding to this, the news reports that more than 30 persons at Pragati Bhavan (KCR’s official bungalow) have contracted the virus, have aggravated our concern,” he said.
Stating that as a citizen of the state he was worried about the health condition of KCR, Mallanna said the state administration had miserably failed to provide information to the people about the health status and the whereabouts of the chief minister. He appealed to the high court to issue an appropriate writ or direction to the government to disclose the details about the chief minister.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee working president and Malkajgiri MP A Revanth Reddy on Wednesday tweeted that the state government should issue a health bulletin to allay the apprehensions of the people about the chief minister.
Reddy said there was an administrative crisis as the head of the state himself was missing in action amid a raging pandemic. “The chief minister has been confined to his farmhouse for the last 10 days and there are apprehensions about his health in the wake of growing intensity of Covid-19. It is a crime to keep his health condition a secret,” he said.
The PCC working president said there was none to take care of the state in the absence of the chief minister. “If KCR is not in a position to administer the state, he should entrust his responsibilities to any other leader – it could be his son K T Rama Rao or senior ministers T Harish Rao or Eatala Rajender,” he suggested.
Reddy demanded that Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan should intervene in the administration and review its functioning.
The ruling TRS leaders have not yet responded to the Congress leader’s demand.